June 2001 News

New Department Chair

Marsha Chandler, the Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, has approved the departmental nomination of Professor Todd Kontje as the next Chair of the Literature Department. The nomination of Todd Kontje was the result of a ballot vote by ladder-rank department faculty and the endorsement of Georgios Anagnostopoulos, the Acting Dean of Arts and Humanities.

Todd Kontje, Professor of German and Comparative Literature, joined the department in 1991 after receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1984 and teaching for six years at Columbia University. He is the author of four books on German aesthetics, genre theory, and literature from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and is currently at work on a fifth study on German orientalism. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation for 2001-02 to work on this book.

Because Professor Kontje will be on fellowship leave in 2001-02, he will begin as Chair in July 2002, and it will be necessary for the department to have an interim arrangement. Two experienced former chairs have agreed to serve as Acting Chairs during the coming year: Louis Montrose has agreed to be Acting Chair in Fall 2001, while Susan Kirkpatrick has agreed to be Acting Chair in Winter/Spring 2002. Lisa Lowe will continue to serve as chair until September 30, 2001.

The department is most grateful to Professor Lowe for her insightful and dedicated leadership over the past three years and to Michael Davidson for his committed service as Vice Chair. It extends its congratulations to Todd Kontje on his appointment as the new Chair and its appreciation to Louis Montrose and Susan Kirkpatrick for their willingness to serve as Acting Chairs in 2001-02.

New Faculty Members

John D. Blanco joins our department as Assistant Professor of Literatures of the Americas as of July 1, 2001. He completed his dissertation, "Vernacular Counterpoints: Indigenous Cosmopolitanism and the Modern Aesthetic in Spanish-Filipino and Tagalog Literature and Culture (1837-1896)" in the Comparative Literature Department at UC Berkeley this May. Professor Blanco works in Spanish, Latin, Tagalog and English; his comparatist approach allows him to study both the nineteenth-century Spanish Caribbean and the Philippines, and traces the emergence of both national and vernacular aesthetics that translate, in part, colonial Spanish Enlightenment and Christian humanisms. He is the author of numerous published articles on Filipino literature and aesthetics, and has translated and introduced Divergent Modernities in Latin America: Culture and Politics in the Nineteenth Century, by Julio Ramos (Duke University Press, 2001). John Blanco is at work on several postdoctoral projects, one on the postcolonial subject in Cuba, Mexico and the Philippines, a second on the 1898 U.S. war with Spain.

Sara Johnson-La O has accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Literatures of the Americas, and will begin teaching here following a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation, "Migrant Recitals: Pan Caribbean Interchanges in the Aftermath of the Haitian Revolution," written for the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Stanford University, documents early nineteenth-century pan-Caribbean intellectual and artistic exchanges among the cultures of Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Louisiana. She focuses particularly on the expressive cultures that emerge from the immigrations of French and French-Créole speaking migrants into three former Spanish colonies, tracing a shared pan-Caribbean culture that begins in the early nineteenth century. Professor Johnson-La O's fluency in Spanish, French, and Haitian and Martinican Créoles have enabled her to originate and pursue a study of the intercultural connections--in literature, visual culture, and music and dance--among the migrant island populations in the aftermath of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), which successfully founded the second independent republic in the hemisphere. Her research on the intellectual, social, and political exchanges between the peoples of Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican and the continental U.S., in the first half of the nineteenth century, provides a rich background for what Sara Johnson-La O calls the "inter-island" aesthetic in literature, art, and musics of the Caribbean.

Yingjin Zhang received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Stanford University in 1992, and has been teaching in East Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature at Indiana University. He joins our department July 1, 2001, as Professor of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature and Culture. Professor Zhang's research and teaching interests include film and media studies and urban and visual culture. His first book, The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film: Configurations of Space, Time and Gender (Stanford UP, 1996) studies the city/country antithesis in modern Chinese literary history, giving attention to the representation of Beijing and Shanghai as "traditional" and "modern" cities. His forthcoming Screening China: Critical Interventions, Cinematic Reconfigurations, and the Transnational Imaginary in Contemporary Chinese Cinema (University of Michigan Press) takes up the "global cultural politics" of Chinese cinema from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the People's Republic of China, considering both the representation of China in Chinese films and the critical discourse, especially western transnational discourse, that selectively interprets Chinese cinema. He has edited two collections: China in a Polycentric World (Stanford UP, 1998) is a volume of essays that propose a shift from a model of Chinese-Western comparativism to a critical reading of Chinese or China-related texts using a variety of new critical approaches; the volume Cinema and Urban Culture in Shanghai, 1922-1943, establishes cinema as a vital force in early twentieth-century Shanghai culture.

In Appreciation

Professor Fanny Howe is retiring from the Literature Department at the end of June 2001. When she first came to UCSD as a lecturer in 1987, Professor Howe had already established herself as a significant fiction writer and poet, having taught for many years at M.I.T. while living in the Boston area. She had established a reputation as an author of novels for young women and had published with experimental fiction houses such as the Fiction Collective. Since coming to UCSD she has published over twenty books of poetry, fiction, essays, and stories, culminating in the University of California Press' publication of her Selected Poems last year in its distinguished "New California Poetry" series.

Fanny Howe's poems and stories have been published in major venues such as The New Yorker and Ploughshares as well as important avant garde periodicals such as Temblor and o-blek. The British journal, spectacular diseases, published an issue devoted to her work, and Gale Research's "Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series" has published her personal narrative. She has appeared as Guest Poet at the Library of Congress, and received a National Poetry Foundation Award, among many other prizes and honors. Along with Rae Armantrout, Professor Howe coordinated the "Page Mothers" conference in 1999, an event that brought poets and scholars from around the country to UCSD to participate in a weekend symposium on issues of women's writing and experimental forms.

As a teacher and university citizen, Fanny Howe has made a powerful impact, teaching hundreds of our writing students, many of whom have gone on to establish their own literary careers. She has coordinated the Writing major with great success, bringing distinguished visitors to teach at UCSD, and she has been an energetic, generous supporter of undergraduate arts in general, serving as the judge for numerous literary awards and prizes and working extensively with students in Visual Arts, Music and Theatre. In recognition of her contributions, she was awarded the 1998-99 Chancellor's Associates Award for Excellence in the Arts. Professor Howe's loyal stewardship of the Writing program at UCSD will be missed, along with her self-effacing yet intense commitment to social justice, both on and off campus. We wish Fanny Howe the very best for her future career.

Lisa Lowe, Chair
Michael Davidson, Vice Chair

Lecturer Robert Dorn will be retiring at the end of this academic year. We will be sorry no longer to have him with us on a regular basis. On behalf of the Department of Literature, we would like to express our deep appreciation for his contributions to the writing program over so many years--as a Lecturer since the early '80s and even further back to the late '70s when he first taught here as an Associate in Writing. His expertise as a practicing journalist and experience in investigative reporting have been invaluable to the many students enrolled in his writing workshops. And his willingness to guide students in the production of their own journal, OOPs, and to supervise a student or two each quarter in the Academic Intern Program has been most generous. We wish him the best as he begins this new stage in his life and work.

Lisa Lowe, Chair
Michael Davidson, Vice Chair

The Department of Literature is losing two fine lecturers: David Kuchta has accepted a position as Adjunct Professor of History at the University of New England, and Jeff Geoghegan has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible in the Department of Theology at Boston College. As Assistant Directors of the Humanities Program, David and Jeff made enormous contributions to the education of UCSD students. They will be missed!

Stephen Cox, Director
Humanities Program

Donald Matson is retiring from the Literature Department and the Warren College Writing Program after many years at UCSD--first as graduate student, receiving his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1988, and thereafter as a lecturer in the Writing Program. He is not retiring from writing, however, and has begun a book about his coming trans-Pacific single-handed sailing adventure in a thirty-four foot sloop. The faculty and staff of Warren Writing wish to express their appreciation to Donald Matson for his steadfast commitment to the program.

Linda Brodkey, Director
Warren College Writng Program

New Publications

Alain J.-J. Cohen, "Virtual Hollywood and the Genealogy of its Hyper-Spectator," Hollywood Spectatorship: Changing Perceptions of Cinema Audiences, eds. M. Stokes and R. Maltby. London: British Film Institute, 2001: 152-164.

Stephen Cope
Ed. and Notes, "George Oppen: Twenty-Six Fragments," Facture, 2 (Spring 2001): 5-12.
Guest Ed., Review of Contemporary Fiction, 21.1 (Spring 2001), Special Issue on David Antin.
"Introducing David Antin," Review of Contemporary Fiction, 21.1 (Spring 2001): 7-9.
"A David Antin Checklist," Review of Contemporary Fiction, 21.1 (Spring 2001): 182-185.

Michael Davidson
"Renaming Black Masculinity: The Example of Stephen Jonas," Facture, 2 (2001).
"Missing Larry: The Poetics of Disability in the Work of Larry Eigner," Sagetrieb, 18.1 (Spring, 2001).

David Klowden, "Ken Burns' Bomb," The Moving Image, 2 (forthcoming, Fall 2001).

Lisa Lowe
"Toward a Critical Modernity," Anglistica, 4.1 (2000): 69-89.
"Utopia and Modernity: Some Observations from the Border," Rethinking Marxism, 13.2 (Summer 2001): 10-18.

Wai-lim Yip
"Brimming the Flow..." (Poem), Facture, 2 (2001), eds., Lindsay Hill and Paul Naylor.
"Beaten City" (Chinese poem), "Literary Supplement,"United Daily, May 6, 2001, with a review of his poetry since Fugue (1961) by Chen Chia-tai (same page, same issue).
"Fugue," "Pastiches from Taiwan Countryside" (four selections), "Quest," and "Traveling in Spring," Frontier Taiwan: an Anthology of Modern Chinese Poetry, eds. Michelle Yeh and N. G. D. Malmqvist. Columbia University Press, 2001.

Lisa Yoneyama, "The Media's Public-ity and Violence of Representation: On the Alteration of the NHK Program 'Problematizing Wartime Sexual Violence'" [Media no kokyosei to hyosho no boryoku: NHK "towareru senji seiboryoku" kaihen o megutte], Sekai (July 2001): 209-219.

Awards and Other Achievements

Fanny Howe has won a Gold Medal from The Commonwealth Club of California for her Selected Poems (UC Press, 2000), and has been short-listed for the Griffin Prize, an international poetry prize in Toronto, also for Selected Poems.

Milos Kokotovic has been awarded a 200l-02 Hellman Fellowship to support research for and writing of his book in progress, The Andean Contours of Modernity: Narratives of Nation, Modernization, and Ethnic Conflict in Peru (1940-1995).


Graduate Program Colloquium: How to Prepare Job Application Materials, for all Ph.D. students planning to seek academic employment in Fall 2001
Monday, June 4, 4:15 p.m.
deCerteau Room, 155 Literature Building

The 2001 Graduate Studies Commencement will be held Saturday, June 16, at 2:00 p.m., in the RIMAC Arena.

Research/Fellowship Opportunities

UC President's Research Fellowships in the Humanities, 2002-03
Approximately 18 awards of up to $25,000 will be awarded through a universitywide competition. The fellowships may be used to supplement sabbatical leave or extramural funds to assist in providing a fully paid leave period. Active ladder-rank faculty, including lecturers who are members of the Academic Senate, doing research in the Humanities are eligible to apply; Assistant Professors are encouraged to apply. Applications must be received by October 12, 2001. Additional information and application materials are available at http://www.ucop.edu/research/prfh.html; or by contacting President's Research Fellowships in the Humanities, UC Office of the President, 1111 Franklin Street, 11th Floor, Oakland CA 94607-5200; (510) 987-9472; or ann.gilbert@ucop.edu

UCSD Civic Collaborative
Since its inception nearly three years ago, the Civic Collaborative has been working to establish closer, more productive ties between the campus and the communities of the San Diego region. It has created the San Diego Regional Studies Network to put scholars and interested citizens in contact with one another for the dissemination of ideas and information of relevance to the local region (more information about the network is available at www.ucsd-civic-collaborative.org).

The collaborative will be sending out a request for proposals shortly after Fall Quarter begins for mini-grants in amounts up to $6,000, available to faculty and graduate and undergraduate students. Proposed projects must add to knowledge of the region or otherwise help improve the qualify of life in the area.

University of California Humanities Research Institute Call for Program Proposals

2003-04 Resident Research Groups. HRI is currently inviting proposals for research groups to be in residence at the institute in 2003-04. The Advisory Committee will select recipients at its Winter 2002 meeting. Proposals must be received by December 14, 2001. HRI will host a workshop for developing research group proposals on October 12, 2001. For further information call (949) 824-8180.

2002-03 Conferences. HRI conference grants range from $5,000 to $15,000, but rarely exceed $10,000. Grants require at least 50% in matching funds from campus or other sources. The HRI Advisory Committee will award conference grants for 2002-03 at its Fall 2001 meeting. Proposals must be received by October 15, 2001.

2002-03 Seminars. HRI seminar grants range from $3,000 to $5,000 and are awarded with the expectation of an additional 50% in matching funds. Proposals should address the benefits of hosting a one- or two-day event that assembles scholars from the UC system and other universities to discuss a particular research issue. The Advisory Committee will award seminar grants for 2002-2003 at its Fall 2001 meeting. Proposals must be received by October 15, 2001.

Further information is located on the HRI website at http://www.hri.uci.edu. You may also wish to discuss proposal ideas with Lisa Lowe, UCSD representative on the 2001-2002 Advisory Committee.

National Humanities Center Fellowships, 2002-03
The Center offers 40 residential academic-year fellowships for advanced study. Applicants must hold the doctorate or have equivalent scholarly credentials, and a record of publication is expected. Both senior and younger scholars are eligible, but the latter should be engaged in research well beyond revision of a doctoral dissertations. Fellowships are open to scholars from any nation and to humanistically inclined individuals from the natural and social sciences, the arts, the professions, and public life, as well as from all fields of the humanities. Stipends up to $50,000 are individually determined; travel expenses for fellows and dependents are provided.

The center, located near Chapel Hill, NC, offers private studies, a reference library, editorial and software assistance, and support for information technology. Applications and letters of recom-mendation must be postmarked by October 15, 2001. For application materials, contact The Fellowship Program, National Humanities Center, P O Box 12256, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2256; or http://www.nhc.rtp.nc.us